CHICAGO, July 15 (Reuters) - Live cattle futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) closed higher on Wednesday, led by the nearby August contract on signs of firmer cash cattle prices and technical buying, traders said.
Market-ready cattle traded in the cash market at $95 to $97 per cwt in the southern Plains, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported, after trading at $95 a day earlier.
“Today’s online exchange saw 275 head of cattle sell at $95.50 to $95.75 per cwt, suggesting a possible near-term bottom in the market and supporting fresh buying on the board,” StoneX chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman wrote in a client note.
CME August live cattle futures settled up 2.500 cents at 101.300 cents per pound after reaching 101.800 cents, the contract’s highest since May 8. October live cattle rose 1.450 cents to finish at 104.550 cents.
CME August feeder cattle futures settled up 2.700 cents at 139.425 cents per pound.
Prices for choice cuts of boxed beef on Wednesday afternoon fell $0.16 to $200.76 per cwt, but select cuts rose $0.52 to $191.37 per cwt, according to the USDA.
CME lean hog futures closed mixed, with the August contract up 0.225 cent at 50.150 cents per pound and October down 0.250 cent at 49.425 cents.
The U.S. pork cutout, an indication of wholesale prices, rose $2.71 on Wednesday afternoon to $68.95 per cwt.
Traders awaited Thursday’s weekly export sales report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture which should show whether China, the world’s top pork consumer, was a significant buyer of U.S. pork in the week ended July 9. (Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; Editing by Peter Cooney)